As the nation was bidding a final adieu to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday, an Aurangabad Municipal Corporation general body meeting witnessed a ruckus when a dozen-odd Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators assaulted an All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) member who opposed a condolence resolution on the deceased leader.
The veteran leader, who passed away on Thursday in Delhi’s AIIMS hospital at the age of 93, had been suffering from ailments for several years.
The AIMIM said the opposition to the resolution was not the stand of the party but demanded action against the corporators involved in the assault.
Shortly after the house convened, BJP corporators led by Rahul Vaidya moved a condolence resolution on Vajpayee`s death, which was opposed by AIMIM’s Sayed Mateen.
Livid at this, 10-12 BJP corporators, including some women members, pulled Mateen from his seat, slapped, punched and even one of them kicked him repeatedly, even when he fell on the floor.
Even as other corporators attempted to rescue Mateen, the municipal corporation`s security officials rushed in and whisked him to safety through a side exit and later to a hospital.
The CCTV video of the incident went viral on the social media. The assault sparked angry reactions outside as alleged AIMIM supporters indulged in stone-pelting to damage local BJP leader Baburao Deshmukh`s car and injured his driver.
Several BJP corporators, including Vaidya and Pramod Rathod, urged the Mayor to suspend Mateen for his “anti-national move” to oppose the resolution. Mateen demanded that the Mayor take strict action against his attackers.
Mateen maintained that he was opposing the motion in a democratic manner, but the BJP members chose to respond by attacking him.
Legislator Imtiaz Jaleel of the AIMIM — which has 25 corporators in the AMC — met the city Police Commissioner and demanded a thorough probe into the assault.
“Mateen`s decision was in his personal capacity. It is not AIMIM`s official view, nor did he consult us. For this, I am recommending stringent disciplinary action against him,” said Jaleel.
However, he condemned the assault on Mateen as “totally undemocratic” and displaying a “mob-lynching mentality”.
“We have asked the police to investigate on the basis of CCTV recording and take action against those who violated the law,” Jaleel added.
On the other hand, a BJP delegation led by Aurangabad East MLA Atul Save, along with Mayor Nandkumar Ghodele (Shiv Sena) and other corporators, met the police chief and demanded Mateen be booked for sedition.
The Aurangabad Police beefed up security inside and outside the corporation complex.